Food: Dinner Tonight – Chicken Soup With Orzo Included

On Monday, I announced to my family that I would be making chicken soup for dinner – except, when I got home from work, I realized I did not have the chicken broth in the cupboard as I imagined I did while on the commuter train. And since then, I’ve been too lazy to go to the supermarket and get the one important ingredient to make the soup I’d been craving for four days now. Yes, I do know I can make my own chicken broth simply by using the water the chicken was boiled in, which I do. But store bought chicken brought adds just the right zing or heartiness my taste buds crave.

So, to the supermarket after work it is and home to make this delicious version of chicken soup:


  • 2 chicken breasts (about 1 pound)
  • kosher salt and black pepper
  • 1/4 cup 

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Food: Dinner Tonight – White Bean, Chicken, Squash Soup

Walked out of the house this morning at 5:30, headed to my commuter train, and I actually shivered. It was breezy and cold. Did I mention just how much I love this time of year? Well, I do. So, while on the train, I normally go over my to-do list, which of course includes dinner for the family, and considering the cold, although it will hit up to the 70’s mid-day, I know by dinner time it will dip down–just in time for a bowl of soup and toasted second day old Italian bread. This recipe is the perfect combination of ingredients and so easy to make and can be made with a crockpot as suggested.


  • 2 tablespoons salted butter
  • 1 pound chicken breasts or thighs (use bone-in for additional flavor)
  • 2 shallots, thinly sliced
  • 4-6 cloves garlic, minced or grated
  • 4

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Ancient Grain Mini Naan Bread Pizza

My Meals are on Wheels

Today’s Menu: Ancient Grain Mini Naan Bread Pizza – Turkey Pepperoni and Turkey Sausage


For Breakfast this morning I toasted a Thomas Light 100% Multi Grain English Muffin and topped it with Smucker’s Sugarless Blackberry Jam. Also had the morning cup of Bigelow Decaf Green Tea. Partly cloudy and 68 degrees on this Fall Day. After Lunch spent the afternoon raking leaves! Grabbed the rake, leaf blower, and the cart out of the shed There is a ton of leaves out there! I filled up 3 Hefty yard bags. I helped a neighbor get his yard raked and then the both of us did a neighbors yard that can’t rake his. He’s an older gentlemen and his wife is in ICU with a heart condition so we got his for him. Between the 3 yards we filled up 10 Hefty yard bags. And you won’t be able to tell…

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Crock-Pot Reese’s Cake

Please Pass the Recipe


  • 1 box Devil’s Food Cake mix
  • 1 package instant chocolate pudding
  • 1 c. whole milk
  • 3 eggs
  • ¼ c. sour cream
  • ¼ c. peanut butter
  • 1 tsp. pure vanilla extract
  • ½ tsp. kosher salt
  • 2 c. peanut butter chips
  • Cooking spray, for Crock-Pot
  • ⅓ c. melted peanut butter, for garnish
  • 10 mini Reese’s cups, halved
  • ¼ c. chopped Reese’s pieces


  1. In a large bowl, combine cake mix and pudding mix. Whisk to combine. Add milk, eggs, sour cream, peanut butter, vanilla and salt and mix until smooth. Fold in peanut butter chips.
  2. Grease the bowl of Crock-Pot with nonstick cooking spray. Add batter to Crock-Pot and smooth top with spatula. Cook on low for 3 ½ hours checking at 3 hours to make sure the edges aren’t burning. Cake can be kept on warm for up to 4 hours before serving. The finished cake should be set on the sides and still gooey in the center.
  3. Drizzle with peanut butter…

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Chocolate Raspberry Pavlova

Good Eats By Mimi


In honor of National Chocolate Day (yes, it’s a real day), I made a chocolate Pavlova,  topped with a thin layer of delicious chocolate, whipped cream and fresh raspberries. This pavlova is so light and airy with all “feels” of a decadent dessert. There are a few easy components, that when put together, have an out of this world taste!

As a food blogger, I love all the “special” days that are food related. There are certain things that I am particularly fond of and chocolate is at the very top of that list!  I wanted to make something a little different for you today.  Pavlova always sounded so intimidating to me, but I can assure you it is one of the easiest desserts I have ever made.  Most of the time making a pavlova is in the baking and cooling.  It needs to be baked on a low temperature…

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Kim's Kuntry Cooking

Have you ever known anyone who can do just about anything?  I DO and I am proud to say I am married to that type of person! My husband Eric is a man of many talents ❤❤ He’s VERY Handy outside of the home and inside too!

When time allows, he loves to help me in the kitchen, and I LOVE having his help! We usually work together especially when it comes to canning BUT He has a few recipes that he likes to make (Lasagna, Cinnamon Rolls and Pizza Rolls) AND who am I to stand in his way? Besides that, they are delicious!!!!

When I asked Eric about this cinnamon roll recipe – he can’t really remember how old it is – he just knows his mom used to make this when he was growing up…That was only a few days ago…🤣  As you can see…

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Parmesan Scalloped Potatoes

Wishing Wells Life


Well I suppose ya’ll feel neglected, abandoned, or worse. I can’t say ya’ll are wrong. I’ve left ya’ll far too long. I think about all of you everyday. I can’t give you a good excuse. However, I can tell you where I’ve been. I’ve really been struggling getting back into the swing of things here. Hubby is doing fantastic, so don’t worry. I think, if I’m being honest, I’ve bit off more than I can chew, so to speak.

It started with me going back to school for this semester, despite all we’ve been going through in our personal life. It’s taking up a lot of my time, mostly because it’s SO hard this semester. I feel quiet stupid. Then I helped hubby get back into doing his volunteering with youth. I’ll say, he’s limited in what he can do, but he’s having fun, so I am ok with this…but…

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Three-Cheese Chicken

Wishing Wells Life

68573533_712267199198549_4493506522944372736_n.jpgEveryone loved this! We found this recipe at . The only thing I changed with the recipe is I didn’t cover with a lid. To save myself time I popped it in the oven.

One of the biggest things I’ve been working on is ME. Remember last August when I was so sick I was in the hospital and almost died? I was at my heaviest weight at this point. My hashimoto’s would cause me to pile on weight and no matter what I did I couldn’t fix it. After I got out of the hospital, I had surgery a few weeks later and started working close with my endocrinologist to prevent and optimize. When I tried on my own to lose and wasn’t I decided to see a nutritionist. It helped some. I lost maybe 8 to 10 lbs. When hubby was hurt I lost another 10 in…

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Cheesy Chicken Broccoli

Wishing Wells Life


I’ve been gone a while, but I think about my blog all the time. I miss it. We’re scheduled to move in a few short weeks. The downfall is…our new place isn’t ready yet. It might not be ready until early September. We have no clue. It’s really just frustrating. We’re ready to get it finished. If you could see my office right now….you’d see how serious this  moving business has gotten. We decided to go ahead and pack up what we have that we can live without. Almost the whole room is packed full.

I’ve got so much to share, but don’t want to share it all at one time. It’s possible that I may do some repeats of the recipe’s I’ve shared a few years ago. When I’m in positions like I am now (which you’ll get to hear ALL about soon!) I tend to either go towards…

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Broccoli cheese soup

Wishing Wells Life


What a time.  Our house isn’t ready yet,  but they are saying that it’ll be ready now in February. Honestly,  it makes me so bummed.  I miss my stuff,  but it’s all packed up.

It’s getting cold here,  so I decided to make some nice yummy soup. All the kids loved  it. They ate several bowls.

Its really not a precise recipe,  I’ll do my best to give you what I used. Next time im going to use some onion!

Approximately 4 cups broccoli

4 cups chicken broth

2 tablespoons garlic

2 cups Heavy cream

4 oz velveeta cheese

16 oz cheddar cheese

Salt and pepper to taste

Saute garlic in a pot. Add broccoli and chicken broth.  Make sure broccoli is covered.  Cook until broccoli is tender.  Add cream.  Melt in cheeses and add salt and pepper.


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Made it Through Comps, and I’m Back in the Kitchen w/ Eggplant Parm Pasta

Grad School Girl Eats

If you haven’t been through a PhD program or don’t/didn’t have friends with whom you were friends while they went through a PhD program, you may not be familiar with the obnoxious ritual known as comps.

Comps=comprehensive exams.  For better or for worse, almost every field requires an exam or a portfolio at some point in the first few years of graduate school to assess a potential PhD candidate’s general knowledge of the field.  They may be called comps, or quals/qualifying exams.  They may be administered at the university, or given as a take home exam.  They may require several hours, or several hours over a few days, or even weeks to complete.  But they are, universally, one of the most hated milestones of graduate school.

All of that is to say that my comprehensive exams were this month, and as a result, I haven’t been posting on the blog. …

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Cinnamon Roll-up Cookies

Please Pass the Recipe

Elizabeth K Smith

Makes about 4 dozen


  • Dough
    • ½ Cup Cream Cheese, softened
    • ½ Cup Butter, softened
    • ¼ Cup Vegetable Oil
    • ¾ Cup Granulated Sugar
    • ½ Cup Powdered Sugar
    • 1 Lge. Egg + 1 Lge. Egg Yolk
    • 2 tsp. Vanilla
    • 3 Cups all purpose Flour
    • 1 tsp. Salt
    • ½ tsp. Baking Soda
    • 3 tsp. Baking Powder
  • Filling
    • ½ Cup Butter, divided
    • 4 tsp. Cinnamon, divided
    • 1 Cup Brown Sugar, packed, divided


Preheat oven to 350°F. Sift together flour, salt, baking soda, and baking powder, set aside. Beat together butter, cream cheese, oil, and sugars until smooth and creamy. Add eggs and vanilla, mix well. Add dry ingredients and mix just until well combined. Divide into two, wrap in plastic wrap, and chill for at least 1 hour. Roll out half of dough between lightly floured sheets of wax paper to 10 x 18 inch rectangle, keeping edges as…

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Fall Haul (Part 2)

Fork In The Road

A quick recipe and some changes to the plan I wrote for the week. I made some black bean bars but I was trying a new variation so I only used a half can of black beans (less waste if I decide I hate the recipe). So instead I added the other half of the can to my lunch salads for the start of the week. Again, I love how I can change plans on the fly with my ingredient-based meal planning. Here is what my lunch salad for tomorrow looks like now:lunch2

(sorry for the blurriness). It is still a chopped salad, but I added black beans with the roasted veg, and instead of the sweet toppings (raisins, etc) I switched it up for savoury dried edamame and grains. The dressing will be poured on at lunch. I prepped the salad for the day after a little differently- I…

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Tandoori fish and cucumber tomato salad

What's cooking on page 32

Tandoori fish ingredientsEasy: 100 delicious dishes for every day, 256pp.
by Bill Granger
HarpersCollinsPublisher, Sydney, 2012
Cooking on page 32

Bill Granger is well-known in Australia and beyond. He regularly contributes to national magazines and newspaper, and his television series has been viewed in 30 countries worldwide. A self-taught cook, Bill focuses on recipes that use fresh, local ingredients. In addition to running restaurants in Australia, Japan, the United Kingdom, the USA and Korea, Bill has written 10 cookbooks.

I own three of his books—made these page-32 recipes three years ago—but I checked this one out from the library.

Tandoori fish and cucumber salad

Tandoori fish and cucumber tomato salad

3 tablespoons thick Greek yoghurt
3 tablespoons tandoori curry paste
1 tablespoon lemon juice
2 garlic cloves, crushed
1 tablespoon grated ginger
4 white fish fillets (about 180g each), skinned
lime pickle (shop bought)
1 lime, cut into wedges

Cucumber tomato salad ingredientsCucumber tomato salad

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Stir-fried pork with mushrooms

What's cooking on page 32

sliced mushroomsKen Hom’s top 100 stir-fry recipes, 144pp.
by Ken Hom
BBC Books, London, 2004
Cooking on page 32–33

Although born in America, Ken Hom came to prominence as a chef through a Chinese cookery television series he did for the BBC in United Kingdom. The role was given to him in the early 1980s after the BBC conducted a two-year global search for just the right person.

Since then he has written 20 cookbooks, focusing on Chinese as well as other Asian cuisines.

This book features stir-fries, the most famous of all Chinese cooking techniques and probably the simplest. The introduction explains how to choose and use a wok, and other useful utensils.

Stir-fried pork with mushrooms

Stir-fried pork with mushrooms

1 tablespoon groundnut (peanut) oil
3 tablespoons coarsely chopped garlic
2 tablespoons deseeded and finely chopped red chilli peppers
225 g (8 oz) minced (ground) pork
2 tablespoons finely chopped spring…

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Zucchini patties

What's cooking on page 32

Flour, zucchini,onion, parmesan

The farmers’ market family cookbook, 256pp.
by Murdoch Books Test Kitchen
Murdoch Books, Millers Point NSW, Australia, 2012
Cooking on page 32

An invitation to your house for a cup of tea or coffee is also an unwitting invitation to let me rummaged through the cookbooks on your kitchen shelves. And that’s what happened the other day when I visited friend and neighbour, Barb.

In addition to loving the lemon verbena tea she whipped up, I volunteered to borrow this cookbook for its recipe on page 32.

Zucchinis are just starting to come in and this will be useful when I have a glut.

Zucchini patties, ribs and asparagus

Zucchini patties


Cucumber and yoghurt salad
1 Lebanese (short) cucumber
sea salt for sprinkling
250g (9 oz/1 cup) Greek-style yoghurt
1 small garlic clove, crushed
1 tablespoon chopped dill
2 teaspoons white wine vinegar
ground white pepper, to taste

The Farmers' Market cookbook

300 g (10 oz)…

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Potato cakes

What's cooking on page 32

Potato cakesLove your leftovers: recipes for the resourceful cook, 336pp.
by Hugh Fearnley-Whittingstall
Bloomsbury Publishing, London, 2015
Cooking on page 132–33

Okay, I’ll confess. I love leftovers. After I moved away from home, I often returned to visit (don’t all kids?). About a minute after I walked in the door, my mother would say something like ‘there’s leftover mashed potatoes in the fridge’. I was in heaven.

So when I saw this book on offer for $5 at a going-out-of-business sale, I had to check out page 32, which had no recipe, and then 132. The required leftovers were mashed potatoes. I bought it.

Potato cake

Potato cakes

300–500g mashed potatoes or well-crushed roast potatoes
1 large egg, lightly beaten
1–2 tablespoons plain flour, plus extra for dusting
1–2 tablespoons whole milk
rapeseed or sunflower oil, for frying
salt and freshly ground black pepper

In a bowl, mix together the…

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Philly Cheesesteak Pizza with Creamy Garlic Sauce

What's for Dinner Moms?

You know I love making some of our favorite dishes into new items. This is one of those dishes. Philly Cheesesteaks are delicious! I have made them into Philly Cheesesteak Pasta Bake (click for link to recipe), Slow Cooker Ground Beef Philly Cheesesteaks (click for link to recipe), and Philly Cheesesteak Sloppy Joes (click for link to recipe). Now Philly Cheesesteak Pizza!


When I say garlic sauce I mean GARLIC sauce. This is chock full of garlic. If you don’t care for as much garlic cut it in half taste and adjust spices as necessary.

My family loved the pizza. My daughter loved the crust, sauce and cheese. She was not a fan of the onions. Imagine that.

Serve the pizza with a side salad to complete the meal.

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Philly Cheesesteak Pasta

What's for Dinner Moms?

This weekend we were in Detroit for a family wedding. It was such a wonderful (albeit far too short) time. I haven’t seen some of the family in years so it was nice to catch up with everyone. We ate far too much and far too much rich food so everyone is feeling sort of off right now but we still had a delicious meal.

Remember I told you that I love to take the flavors we like and turn them into other dishes? This is one of those dishes. Philly cheesesteaks are simple and delicious. Cheesy, with earthy onions and peppers, with tangy sauce are a perfect compliment to pasta. Next I think a Philly Cheesesteak Pizza is on our menu!


This was good, cheesy, inexpensive, and filling! I used 80% ground beef instead of a thinly sliced ribeye to keep the cost lower. If you have the…

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The Tale of 2 Brittles (Nut, that is!)

About Eating

imageAfter my presentation at a recent women’s’ conference, a participant asked if I could help with a nut brittle recipe.  “I had a slightly spicy pine nut brittle in New Mexico and would like to make it but with regular nuts,” she said. 

Now I’ve made brittles on top of the stove and in the microwave, and since the lady didn’t specify, I’m sharing both. All I had to do on the stovetop version is add cayenne to a classic recipe. It cooked up darker than the microwave version. 

Even if you don’t make these now, save the recipes for the holidays. You’ll thank me!

If you use the microwave, note that the timing may be a bit different from what’s specified depending upon wattage. That’s why I’m giving you detailed instructions. 

Spicy (or not) Stovetop Nut Brittle

All I had on hand were peanuts. Any…

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Green Chile Artichoke Dip

Railroad Wife

If you haven’t realized, I like to take classic recipes and give them a bit of a spin!  The typical artichoke dip is no exception.  I took the hot, cheesy concoction and amped it up with a couple cans of green chiles and diced hot peppers.  What was usually tasty, but quite bland, now has a real kick of flavor and your guests will love the welcome change!

*IF you have any leftover, you can served warm over grilled chicken breasts and rice.

The Starting Lineup

  • 2 cans diced green chiles, (one 4oz hot, one 7oz regular)
  • 1 can quartered artichoke hearts, drained
  • 1-2 fresh jalapenos, diced (I keep seeds in)
  • 1 cup mayonnaise
  • 8oz cream cheese, softened
  • 1 cup shredded parmesan cheese

Preheat oven to 325 degrees.  Drain the artichokes and pat dry.  In a large bowl, thoroughly combine all the ingredients and transfer to an 8-inch cast…

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Stuffed Tomatoes Puttanesca

Railroad Wife

A lot of influences helped bring this recipe idea to mind.  One, being my love for Pasta Puttanesca, a common order from me at many Italian restaurants.  Secondly, I love having people over and serving unique appetizers aka hors d’oeuvres if I’m being fancy, and thought this will make a great contender for my counter….and lastly, my hilarious, old soul of a little 6-year-old son who legitimately enjoys anchovies on his pizza.  Yes, if he’s not a chef, food critic or stylist when he grows up, I will be shocked.  Future foodie right there!

So because of that last reason, I had a couple containers of anchovies handy and the rest of the ingredients are pantry staples for me…so given all that, the Stuffed Tomato Puttanesca was born!  Thanks Brooks. 🙂

Also, you can make this with out stuffing the tomato/oven-step and serve in a dish drizzled with a bit…

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Puff Pastry Pecan Rolls with Bacon Caramel

Railroad Wife

These sticky buns are quite the guilty pleasure and one that needs to be taken advantage of!  They’re sweet, salty, and unlike your typical breakfast bun, these are made with puff pastry which gives a light and airy crunch to them, a la Baklava!  Plus, they have baaccooonnn!!  To answer the old age question, nothing, I repeat nothing, is better than bacon!

*Make sure to serve fresh and warm as the caramel will harden.  You can reheat them.

**These can also be made using your standard dough recipe for an equally delicious and softer bun!

***They’re also great as dessert with a scoop of vanilla ice cream.

The Starting Lineup

  • 1 lb bacon + grease
  • 1-1/2 cups light brown sugar
  • 1/4 cup pure maple syrup
  • 1/4 cup heavy cream
  • 1/4 teaspoon salt
  • 4 Tablespoons unsalted butter
  • 1 (17.5oz) package puff pastry (freezer aisle)
  • 1 Tablespoon cinnamon
  • 1 1/2 cup pecans

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Lasagna Roll Ups

Brooks Lately

These are the perfect quick weeknight recipe!! I love that you can make them ahead of time, put them in the fridge and bake them when you’re ready!! These are just like traditional lasagna but just so much more fun! Give these a try!

– 1/2 lb lasagna noodles
– 1/2 lb Italian sausage
– 1 cup tomato sauce, plus 1/2 cup for topping (I like Raos)
– 1 cup ricotta cheese
– 1/4 cup parmesan cheese, plus more for topping
– 1/2 tsp nutmeg
– 1 tbsp chopped parsley
– 1 cup mozzarella cheese

1. Start by browning the sausage in a large skillet. Add in 1 cup tomato sauce, and 1/2 cup of water. Cook down for about 5 minutes! Boil noodles according to package instructions, drain and set aside.
2. In another bowl, mix together ricotta, parmesan cheese, nutmeg, and parsley.
3. Start assembling the…

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Grilled Jalapeno Poppers

Recipes for Red Meat and Whiskey Lovers

These grilled poppers are an absolute favorite in my house. We make them as a side to almost any grilled meal we make. They are a GREAT appetizer for dinner parties and entertaining as well. They are also super easy to make.


  • 1 dozen medium size jalapeños
  • 1 package Sharp cheddar cheese sticks
  • 1 pound bacon
  • 1/4 cup real maple syrup



  • Wash the jalapeños and then cut off the top of the pepper-when you make the cut make sure to cut about a third of an inch off the top. This opens up the pepper enough for you to get your knife inside. Carve out the insides, making sure to get out most the seeds and the guts of the pepper- while trying to preserve the integrity of the walls of the pepper.
  • Next, place a…

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Mongolian Beef

Season Generously

My parents were in town visiting and I love to challenge my Dad’s taste-buds. He’s a real meat (or fish!) & potatoes kind of guy and never really tries anything new.

But recently, he’s really been trying new things and I’m so proud of him!! Mongolian beef is one of the newest dishes of mine he’s tried and I kid you not, he ate it for 3 straight days. He loved it that much!

The story behind this is we have been trying to find a new Chinese food place but haven’t found the right one yet. We were cravvvvinggggg good Chinese food, so I decided to make it in place of trying to find one. And you know what, I might just make this from now on instead of getting takeout. It’s seriously that easy and that good!

It’s salty, but not too salty and full of the umami…

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Chicken Foot Baba Yaga Cake

You know? This blog doesn’t say this cake is perfect for the Halloween table, you know, next to spaghetti insect hairs, treachery entrees and other things like blood-cursed sides — but I think you really can. The chicken foot is a Wiccan sign for Satan!

Okay, enough said.

That Cooking Thing

This cake marks the sixth in my series of Proms cakes. These are cakes inspired by pieces of music which performed at the BBC Proms, which is the largest classical music festival in the world. A lot of composers take inspiration from nature, life, myth and paintings and these cakes are designed to embody some aspect of a piece that makes it stand out.

The chicken foot cake is based on a movement from Pictures at an Exhibition, by Mussorgsky – an orchestral suite inspired by a series of paintings; the cake is specifically inspired by a movement based on a painting of a character from Russian folklore: Baba Yaga. Baba Yaga was a witch who lived in a hut on chicken legs (paintings disagree whether the hut was on one or two legs but that is beside the point). I did think after making the cake that maybe I…

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Chocolate and Raspberry Caramel Bone Cake

I had to think about reblogging this controversial cake. So I’d be loath not to warn visitors to be careful of whom you invite to inspect the dinner table on the evening of its service!

Happy HallowS!

That Cooking Thing

After last year’s nauseating brain cake (check out how to make it here), and the spider cake that followed it (not for the arachnophobic among you), I thought I would tone down the horror of this year’s Halloween cake – not least because I still have to travel in public with it. So, of course, I made a cake with lots of broken bones oozing red goo stuck around it. It does not provoke the same level of visceral disgust as its predecessors but I definitely would not view it as plain – there is still an element of gore which is impossible to ignore.


I have always classed myself as pretty squeamish. I cannot stand watching people get hurt, surgery, pimple popping etc. – it makes me feel faintly sick and go remarkably white (so I am told). I can just about deal with seeing things after the…

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